Rev. Richard Sytsma, dean of students and international student adviser for Calvin Theological Seminary, plans to retire this year after serving the seminary for more than a decade. “As a faculty member, he has exemplified ‘Called to Serve,’ the theme and focus of CTS,” said Jul Medenblik, president of the seminary.
Richard Sytsma will be retiring from Calvin Theological Seminary.
Having come to CTS after 32 years in Japan with Christian Reformed World Missions, Sytsma used his international experience to serve students, helping them determine where God is calling them to ministry.
He has earned many titles of respect among the students: "Pastor," "Doctor," "Father," "Brother," and "Friend."
Sytsma has visited students in the hospital, been a family counselor, and stood at the gravesite of a student’s child. He has picked up students from the airport to welcome them to Grand Rapids, Mich., and he has shed tears with them as they are prayed over and blessed to take up new ministry opportunities.
A search process is underway for a replacement, though CTS is clear that the spirit of service Rev. Sytsma and his wife, Sandra, have so freely shared will be very hard to replace.
—Calvin Theological Seminary